Sales at this year’s Yulin Lychee Dog Meat Festival in China are on the decline.
The annual Yulin Dog Meat Festival, which celebrates the consumption of dog meat in areas of China, saw a decrease in sales from last year. The 10 day festival started yesterday with vendors and restaurants offering various types of dog meat to customers.
Domestic and international pressure, however, has had an effect on business. A handful of festival goers have given up dog meat due to “moral pressure” from society. One butcher at the Yulin festival commented on this year’s event. He told Xinhua:
“Business is especially bad this year. I could sell over 30 dogs every day in previous years, but now I can only sell five at the most.”
The festival is not sanctioned by the government and officials are making efforts to shrink the event. Government employees are prohibited from attending the ten day affair and a number of dog markets and slaughterhouses have been shut down.
Officials have also banned the public slaughter of dogs, which used to be a frequent sight at the Yulin Festival. In addition, vendors were instructed to hide the character for “dog” that appeared on their signs.
Animal activists and dog lovers have joined forces to convince the Chinese government to ban the festival all together. A petition filed earlier this month had 11 million signatures including those from celebrities like Matt Damon.
Rescuers such as Marc Ching, founder of The Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation, have made trips to Asia to save dogs from slaughterhouses. Recently, a group of animal activists marched in New York City’s Chinatown because it was the closest to China they could reach.